The Singer Sewing Machine Was Patented On This Day In 1851: Here Are Some Facts You May Not Know


The Singer sewing machine became a brand that dominated the market for many decades.

When we hear the Singer brand name, we immediately associate the word with tailoring. Remarkably, its fundamental operation has not changed significantly since its initial rise to popularity in the mid-1800s.

Some of you may not have sewn a stitch in your life, chances are you are familiar with the iconic look and function of a sewing machine as it is often used in factories, studios, fashion designers, schools or shopping malls.

It became one of the most important discoveries in American history and is now an indispensable element in the production of clothing. With that, here are some unknown facts about the machine.

Isaac Merritt Singer

The man behind the Singer sewing machine, Isaac Merritt Singer, was not the first to invent the sewing machine.

However, he designed the first practical and efficient model, used mass production techniques to manufacture it, and pioneered the hire-purchase system of purchase on credit in easy installments, which revolutionized the behavior of consumers.

The work of other inventors, notably Elias Howe, served as the basis for Singer’s machine, as did many other innovations.

sewing machine patent

On August 12, 1851, Isaac Singer, he was granted patent No. 8294, for his invention. The machine shop owned by Orson C. Phelps in Boston was responsible for building these industrial sewing machines.

Cast iron was used to create the machine’s head, base cams, and sprockets; in order for these components to fit together properly, they had to be filed and ground by hand.

The machine created a lockstitch by combining a straight needle with a pointed tip and a shuttle that moved in a reciprocating motion.

According Smithsonian“The specific patent claims allowed were directed to: 1) the additional forward motion of the shuttle to tighten the stitch; 2) the use of a friction pad to control the tension of the bobbin thread; and 3 ) the placement of the thread spool on an adjustable arm to allow the thread to be used as needed.”

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IM Singer & Company

In 1851, he was living in Boston and working in a machine shop when he was given a sewing machine to repair. Singer managed to build a more efficient sewing machine, which he later patented.

After that he established IM Singer & Company which produced the machine with the help of two investors named Zieber and Phelps. He wore it on barnstorming tours and showed it off at fairs.

Isaac Singer as an art

Apart from being a business mogul, Singer is also a recent actor and loves art. In 1863 Singer married his second wife, a Parisian named Isabella Boyer, a boarder.

He had been an actor for some time and started his own theater group called The Merritt Players. According The story todaySinger moved to England in his early 50s and built Oldway House at Paignton in South Devon.

He had a private theater in the house which he called “The Wigwam”, and he had long had ambitions to pursue a career in the performing arts. There, in 1875, he died at the age of sixty-three.

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